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Environmental monitoring is one of the most classic applications of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN). Itaipu hydroelectric dam creates a unique scenario for the develop ment of this type of WSN with more than 200 square kilometers of natural forests. In this context, FLORA project is aimed at developing a habitat monitoring WSN to be deployed in the Zoo of Itaipu and in the Tati Yupi Biological Refuge. The de ployment includes more that 50 nodes. The paper describes the two scenarios of this ambitious and challenging application and presents the routing and topology control protocol developed in the framework of FLORA. The protocol was designed to fulfil the requirements of the application, extend the lifetime of the network, and to adapt to continuous nodes deployment and potential failures. It is based in several protocols already reported in the literature. The novel proposal is a reliable and lightweight routing protocol for wireless sensor network based on vector distance, collection tree, and energy aware distance vector protocols. The main idea is that each node of the network finds the shortest path to the sink with the best link quality, in order to guarantee the delivery of data to the sink despite the dynamic and lossy nature of wireless transmissions. The functionality of this novel protocol is presented as well as the results based on a TinyOS implementation and traditional WSN nodes (motes) including a CC2420 radio.